TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, February 19, 2020:
One who opposes or seeks to inflict injury upon another; foe; one who is against another.
Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Jesus in Luke 6:27-36 gives us a long-detailed expose on how we are to deal with enemies as believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus starts His comments by saying. “But I say to you who hear.” He states it this way because He knows that many believers do not want to hear how He expects us to deal with our enemies. No one likes to hear anything that requires something difficult for us to do.
Jesus begins by telling us to love our enemies and to do good to them that hate you. Jesus is initiating here the most revolutionary lifestyle ever known in the history of mankind. No religion in the world can remotely compare with this. If you study other religions including Buddhism and Islam, they have absolutely no principles even close to loving your enemies and doing good to men.
In verse 31, Jesus gives us what we know today is the golden rule. He says just as you want men to do to you, you also do to him likewise. Jesus was restating for the believers today what the law taught as recorded in Leviticus 19:18: You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The natural reaction today is to return good for good and evil for evil. Think of how you have reacted at times when someone does something evil that has hurt you. You immediately want to do something, maybe hurtful, to get back at that person.
It is natural to think that evil would not be returned for good, but often evil is returned for good, especially to anyone who is perceived to be an enemy. In Genesis 16:6 we read about Hagar and Sarah. Hager was a good and obedient servant to her mistress Sarah but they became enemies and Sarah treated Hager so harshly that Hager had to flee from Sarah.
David also did good serving King Saul, bringing victory to King Saul over the Philistines. It would be expected that Saul would feel grateful to David. Instead Saul felt jealous of David and considered him an enemy and plotted to kill him.
In Luke 6:32 Jesus says it is no credit to us if we love those who love us. Even sinners do that. Jesus wants us as believers in Him (verse 33) to do the hard thing and love our enemies. Jesus goes on to say that when we give good, we should give it with an attitude of not expecting anything in return. The Lord will repay us as is written in Proverbs 19:17: He who has pity on the poor lends unto the Lord; and that which he has given will HE (God) repay him again.
God has been merciful to us, we are in return, to be merciful to others; everything we do needs to be based on what He has done for us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Mark 16:15.
And He said unto them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Help me and my family to always do good in return for any hate that may come our way. Help us by Your grace to love those that hate us always praying that they will soon return to You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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